It’s exploded in popularity over the last few years, but what is the big deal about the acai berry?
While it may not be the “miracle food” some unscrupulous marketers have made it out to be, the acai berry does contain several beneficial nutrients such as B-vitamins, vitamin K, niacin, fibre and healthy oils like omega-3. Thousands of people use it as a dietary supplement, reporting things like increased energy levels, healthier skin and feeling less bloated, and many people have also said that it has helped them lose weight.
Can a berry really be that good? Let’s take a closer look at this popular new “super food”.
What is an acai berry?
The acai berry comes from the acai palm tree which grows in Central and South America. The berries are small, round and dark purple in colour, and are related to other similar fruits like grapes and blueberries. It has been a staple food in certain areas for many hundreds of years. Although people don’t tend to eat them whole in western countries, they are often consumed as juices and supplements.
Why are they so popular?
One reason is that the acai berry can be freeze-dried and consumed in concentrated form as a capsule or tablet, squeezing a lot of nutritional value into a small, convenient package — as long as you buy high quality supplements that is. Compared to other fruits they do contain several beneficial substances such as vitamins, unsaturated fats (the healthy variety), and anti-oxidants.
What do acai berries actually do?
Well, let’s start with what they don’t do. They’re not magic, meaning they don’t make it OK to eat a kebab every day and still expect to lose weight. They are not a substitute for eating a healthy balanced diet either. What they can do is give your healthy-living efforts an extra little boost. People who take acai berry regularly have linked it to (amongst other things);
- Feeling more energetic
- Helped speed up weight loss
- Healthier skin
- Feeling more alert
- Less craving between meals
Choosing the right acai berry brand
Keen to cash-in on the rapid success of the acai berry, some manufacturers started to produce tablets that only contained a small quantity of acai, bulked up with other substances. Our advice would be to read the label carefully, as some supplements only contain acai extract — again in very small quantities.
It’s also worth picking a brand that has a money-back guarantee — this way you can return them if they don’t give you the results you expected, or if the product isn’t the same as what was advertised. If you are buying online check which country the products will be shipped from, as not all countries have the same strict trading and advertising standards as we do in the UK. You also want to be able to talk to someone if you have a complaint.
Supplements can be a little on the pricey side, which is fine if they are genuine but not if you are paying for mostly filler. Pure Acai Berry Max is our personal favourite. They ship from the UK and they clearly state that their tablets contain 100% acai. Their website also offers a money-back guarantee, which is nice.
Has acai berry worked for you?
Have you lost weight using acai berry? Do you feel any different when you take it? Please share your stories, recommendations or questions in the comments.